We've all thought about what it would be like to go back in time—to witness the roaring '20s firsthand or rock bell-botttoms in the '60s—and movies are our best chance to see what it was like back then. Films like these seven depict a different time and offer the perfect escape when you want to retreat from the modern world. Give our list a try.
1. The King's Speech
Movies are frequently set in the past because they are based on real historical events, such as the 2010 drama The King's Speech, which starred Colin Firth as British monarch George VI. This touching picture, taking place against the elegant backdrop of 1930s London, centers on George's struggle to overcome a severe speech impediment as he's suddenly prompted to take his brother's place as king.
2. Jersey Boys
Another biographical drama that takes us back is the 2014 big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway show Jersey Boys. This film, directed by Clint Eastwood, tells the compelling rags-to-riches story of pop group Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. While the film includes a fascinating story line and a great ensemble cast, the main reason to see this movie is the music, featuring timeless pop songs from the '50s, '60s and '70s
3. Julie & Julia
This 2009 double biopic explores parallel stories in the lives of celebrity chef Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and popular blogger Julie Powell (Amy Adams). It navigates between Child's years as an aspiring chef in postwar Europe and Powell's modern-day challenge of working through Child's first cookbook. The film compares and contrasts the experiences of two captivating women with entertaining and enlightening results.
4. The Great Gatsby
The roaring '20s—with its flappers, gangsters, and jazz—remains popular with contemporary filmmakers. F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novel captures the excitement and unique atmosphere of the decade, inspiring several movie adaptations, most recently Baz Luhrmann's 2013 hit starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. It offers an imaginative new take on the bittersweet romance.
The 1960s are memorable for a lot of reasons, but amazing pop music is at the top of the list. The 2006 musical drama Dreamgirls, starring Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson, calls to mind the treasured girl group Diana Ross and the Supremes. The film follows the struggles of a soul/pop crossover trio and is set during a revolutionary period that brought black soul singers to the forefront of mainstream entertainment.
6. American Hustle
This 2013 crime drama features a star-studded cast that includes Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Lawrence. It tells the story of two con artists who are forced to work for a wild FBI agent, landing them in the center of a dangerous world of Jersey power brokers and the Mafia. The fact that this movie is set in the colorful 1970s adds panache to the already interesting characters and subject matter.
The quintessential tribute to the excesses of the 1920s might just be the popular 2002 adaptation of the iconic Broadway musical Chicago. The film stars Renee Zellwegger and Catherine Zeta Jones as two headline-grabbing murderesses. The film highlights the legendary night club scene and the most sensational aspects of Chi-Town during its most notorious chapter.